The Learning Process
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San Diego Figure Skating Communications
a non-profit educational organization

Academic Tutoring

Transfer of Knowledge and Skills
      Transfer of knowledge and skills from an expert to a learner results that the communication be geared to the level of the learner first so exchange of information is supportive of the concepts, techniques, and strategies of problem solving.

      There is a higher rate of skill transfer when there is a broad foundation of knowledge that is supportive of the new concepts. If there the learners knowledge base does not relate to the subject matter being tutored, the person conducting the tutoring must find a common basis to begin. Starting in the middle of a course ignores that the basic problem has most likely existed since the first day of class.

Academic Tutoring Programs
       If your child is doing the assigned homework and you observe that he/she doesn't know how to explain the process of arriving at the answers, it is a good indication that there is a problem and a learning assessment is required.

Note: Most schools have specific criteria that triggers a professional assessment to occur at the districts expense. It is also possible to engage the services of a professional, but the expense
can be a deterrent. If a local college or university is nearby, make inquiries to see if they can
provide testing for free as part of classroom training.

       A Learning Needs Assessment helps parents, teachers, and students identify the status of the student's knowledge, skills and competencies. It also helps to establish where they should be so a set of learning goals can be established. The learning assessment can identify what will help to ensure that if there is a gap, what course content, schedules, etc. will help to fill the learning gaps.

       A needs assessment requires providing answers to the following questions:
  • Identify existing skills and knowledge of the learner.
  • Highlight skills/knowledge/competencies that need developing.
  • Identify clearly what the student and parents wish to achieve and if it possible to achieve.
  • Outline and define expectations and goals.
  • Establish need and demand for the course you have in mind.
  • Realistically list the outcome that can be achieved given the available resources and time frame.
  • Identify any potential obstacles or difficulties which may arise.
  • Establish a sense of ownership and involvement of the student.
  • Gather information about the student - know your audience.
  • What program will be the best fit between the provider and student - matching student needs with their expectations.
  • Identify the content that best suits the student's needs.
  • Discuss what delivery format - class based, online or a mix of these and other formats - is the best option.
  • What skill set and knowledge base is required of the tutor.
  • Develop a budget and cost benefit analysis.
  • When is the most suitable time to start a program?  Indicate the projected time line.
  • Determine suitable evaluation tools and tests.
  • Outline expected results and measurement tools.
Recommendation for Tutoring
       It can be tricky to suggest to a child that they can benefit from tutoring because of the stigma that occurs when peers make embarrassing comments causing the individual to become self conscious. It is very important to take the time to provide sufficient information so they understanding the reason for tutoring. Hopefully this allow the student to become comfortable with the idea. Success requires that the student buys into the process. A negative attitude will cause the effort to be counter productive.

      Tutoring can occur at home in one to one sessions or at a business location using a classroom with small groups of fellow students.  Finding a good tutor can prove to be difficult and frustrating experience; however, it is helpful to start a search by contacting the school counselor. They can steer you in the right directions, thus speeding up the search and resulting in multiple, viable options. 

      Aside from finding someone with the proper qualifications, the tutor must be someone whose personality will mesh well with the child.  Start with a few trial lessons and don 't be pressured into signing a contract!

Professional Diagnosis and Solutions
      Remember that physical problems, such as needing glasses and/or a hearing aid, may be at the root cause of the problem. Sometimes there may be serious information processing problems that require testing by a professional to recommend a plan to solve or mitigate the root problem.
  • When is it Time for Your Child to Embrace a Tutor?  June 15, 2010  How do you know when a tutor is needed? What are the defining characteristics of a tutor? A tutor can best be defined as a teacher that specializes in a specific area of interest, who usually has a teaching certification. However, advanced students in high school and college may be certified by their schools to tutor other students in specific subjects.

The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:
All materials are copy protected. 
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.

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